Longford Misk

A semi-isolated low-lying tract of land on the left bank of the River Garnock as it enters its estuary, Longford Misk lies to the north of Bogside, between Irvine and Kilwinning in North Ayrshire. Strictly, Longford Misk was the land contained within a former 1⅓-mile / 2.15-km meander of the Garnock but it now applies to a broader area. This locality was long associated with coal mining, but on the 20th June 1833 water broke into shallow mine-workings at Snodgrass, flooding them. When the tide returned, the back-pressure was such that the ground shook and water erupted from the workings. The land remained flooded for many years until Archibald Montgomerie, 13th Earl of Eglinton (1812-61), ordered a canal to be dug to cut off the meander and allow the land and workings to be drained. It took twelve months to pump the water from the interconnected maze of shafts and tunnels. Thereafter the Bartonholm Colliery was established to supply coal to the Eglinton Iron Works at Kilwinning. A further meander in the river, lying to the east, was similarly removed later in the 19th C. The Bartonholm Colliery closed in 1928 and then concrete explosives storage bunkers were built as an extension of the Nobel Works opposite at on the Ardeer Peninsula. These remain, although are now abandoned.

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